Friday, February 29, 2008

Record high for older pregnancies

The BBC reports that "The number of women aged over 40 becoming pregnant is at a record level, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.
The conception rate for the over 40s in England and Wales rose by 6% between 2005 and 2006, and now stands at 12.2 pregnancies per 1,000 women.
The overall pregnancy rate rose by 3% over the same period, the ONS said.
But teenagers are having fewer babies, with a slight fall in pregnancies among 13 to 15-year-olds.
There were an estimated 866,800 conceptions in 2006, a rise of 25,000 from the previous year.
The most likely age for motherhood was 25 to 29, with a rate of 129 pregnancies for every 1,000 women in this age group.
Four out of five women who became pregnant went on to give birth.
More than half of the pregnancies happened outside marriage, although the figures only cover those where the parents were unmarried at the time of the birth, and both appeared on the birth certificate.
More women are putting off motherhood until their 40s, partly due to advances in fertility techniques which help those who are unable to conceive naturally at that point.
While they and their unborn babies do face slightly increased risks during pregnancy and childbirth, studies have suggested that they are just as able as younger mothers to look after children..."

Blind Man Regains Sight After Tooth Is Implanted In Eye

The Agence France-Presse reports that "an Irishman blinded by an explosion two years ago has had his sight restored after doctors inserted his son's tooth in his eye, he said on Wednesday.
Bob McNichol, 57, from County Mayo in the west of the country, lost his sight in a freak accident when red-hot liquid aluminium exploded at a re-cycling business in November 2005.
"I thought that I was going to be blind for the rest of my life," McNichol told RTE state radio.
After doctors in Ireland said there was nothing more they could do, McNichol heard about a miracle operation called Osteo-Odonto-Keratoprosthesis (OOKP) being performed by Dr Christopher Liu at the Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton in England.
The technique, pioneered in Italy in the 1960s, involves creating a support for an artificial cornea from the patient's own tooth and the surrounding bone.
The procedure used on McNichol involved his son Robert, 23, donating a tooth, its root and part of the jaw.
McNichol's right eye socket was rebuilt, part of the tooth inserted and a lens inserted in a hole drilled in the tooth.
The first operation lasted ten hours and the second five hours.
"It is pretty heavy going," McNichol said. "There was a 65 percent chance of me getting any sight.
"Now I have enough sight for me to get around and I can watch television. I have come out from complete darkness to be able to do simple things," McNichol said."

Woman Gives Birth to Baby Nearly Her Own Size

In Cincinnati, FoxNews reports that "Imagine giving birth to an 18-inch baby.
That would be hard enough for the average-sized female, but for Stacey Herald, who is 2-feet, 4-inches tall, it was an amazing task.
The Guinness Book of World Records is investigating Herald’s claim that she is the smallest woman to ever give birth to such a large baby, it is being reported by WLWT Channel 5.
Herald, 33, was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder that causes bones to break easily.
She gave birth five weeks ago to baby Makaia, who is unaffected by the disorder and will grow to an average size. However, Herald’s 16-month-old daughter, Katira, also suffers from the disorder.
“My whole life I've been told that I wasn't able to have children, (and) I would not live through the pregnancy – that with the size of my torso, the baby would grow up underneath my lungs and smother out my lungs and my heart, and we would both die,” Herald told WLWT.
“Something inside me just didn't believe that.” Doctors originally told Herald she should abort Katira, but Herald, and her husband Wil refused."

Here's the story and video from WLWT.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Guess who will end up paying for this?

The Associated Press reports that "The House approved $18 billion in new taxes on the largest oil companies Wednesday as Democrats cited record oil prices and rising gasoline costs in a time of economic troubles.
The money collected over 10 years would provide tax breaks for wind, solar and other alternative energy sources and for energy conservation. The legislation, approved 236-182, would cost the five largest oil companies an average of $1.8 billion a year over that period, according to an analysis by the House Ways and Means Committee. Those companies earned $123 billion last year.
Senate Democratic leaders said they would put the bill on a fast track and try to avoid a Republican filibuster. The White House said the bill unfairly takes aim at the oil industry. President Bush is expected to veto the legislation if it passes Congress...
Republicans said the measure unfairly targeted a single industry.
"It punishes the oil and gas industry. This is wrongheaded. It will result in higher prices at the gasoline pump. It's spiteful and wrong," said Rep. Jim McCrery, R-Louisiana.
McCrery, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, which developed the tax proposals, cited statistics that show oil companies already pay more taxes than many other industries..."
Yes, you and I willl be paying thos higher taxes as they as passed down to us. The cost of doing business will handed off to the consumers again.

'Unmentionables' on display

The Associated Press reports that "Victoria has no secrets in [the] Polish town [Opatowek].
In an exhibition that's making some Poles do a double-take, the Museum of Industry in Opatowek has chronicled the evolution of women's underwear from the knee-length knickers and tight corsets of the early 20th century to the skimpy thongs of today.
"Undergarments were pretty much kept well out of sight in the old days," said Ewa Sieranska, curator at the Central Textile Museum in Lodz, which loaned 140 items to the exhibit called "From Pantaloons to G-Strings."
"At the beginning of the 20th century you couldn't show them at all, and later only a little bit, whereas now they're everywhere," she added.
Female underwear evolved as women's role in society changed.
The frumpy drawers of the early 20th century gave way to more modern styles in the 1920s —including garter belts to hold up the stockings of women entering the workplace.
Among notable items on display in this town 150 miles east of Warsaw is a white garter belt with pink hearts and clasps to attach to silk stockings, a style popular before pantyhose were developed in the 1960s.
There are also pantaloons (knee-long cotton underwear with lace fringe), day shirts, night gowns and two-piece corsets.
Nylon rose in popularity in the 1970s, while natural materials like cotton hold sway today.
In the 1980s, when Poland's then-communist regime was staggering from one political and economic crisis to the next, so-called "tygodniowki," which came in packages of seven — a pair for each day of the week — were the standard cotton undies for women.
The exhibition, which opened in January and runs until the end of March, is sprinkled with a few items of male clothing — boxer shorts, robes and a jock strap from the 1930s.
But male underwear has changed little over the years, and the vast majority of the collection is made up of what once was known as women's unmentionables.
"When people came to see the exhibition after it first opened, it caused a range of different reactions," said museum curator Ewa Klysz. "But these items are subject to historical research, and this is a serious exhibit."
Serious it may be, but it is also proved entertaining.
"It's great," said Klaudia Kepa, 15, who visited the museum with her high school classmates.
"You're not just learning about art or something that you can read about in a history text book, but something that's important, well, every day."
The underwear did generate a fair amount of giggling among the three other groups of students that visited the museum on Valentine's Day.
Older visitors, however, tend to take a different spin on things.
"They want to see some things they aren't familiar with, or remember items that they once wore," Klysz said. "Sometimes they say, 'Oh, I used to wear that, or, ugh, those were horribly uncomfortable.'"
A frequent source of such memories: a magenta nylon nightgown with pink frills around the chest. "Those were terrible," Klysz said with a laugh. "Women hated wearing those things."
And where does underwear style go next? Klysz looked around the room and shrugged.
"Oh, I don't know what'll come next," she said with a laugh. "Maybe a return to what we wore before underwear — nothing.""

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Texas Primary

Banned For Grunting Too Loudly?...

FoxNews reports that a "9-year-old girl has been banned from playing tennis by her local club because she grunts too loudly.
Lauryn Edwards was told at the weekend that she could no longer play her favorite sport after a complaint by an opposition player.
The Mt. Carmel Tennis Club, in Sunbury, Australia, told Lauryn's stunned parents, Duncan and Ruth, that the grunting had become too much.
Duncan Edwards described the ban as pathetic and has contacted Tennis Australia and Tennis Victoria for advice.
Lauryn's favorite player is Russian star and notorious grunter Maria Sharapova.
But Edwards said his daughter's grunting was nowhere near Sharapova's level and had been exaggerated.
"It's pretty slight and now and again she hits it hard and makes a loud noise and that's it," he said.
"From just one comment, this has all blown up stupidly.
"There's no rule against it, so they've made a rule against it."
Edwards said the club had asked him for an assurance Lauryn would remain silent on the court.
"They told me to guarantee she won't grunt or she can't play," he said.
"How can I guarantee that? She's been doing it since she was really little. She's her own person. What do they want me to do? Put Band-Aids over her mouth? They made her cry on the court when they told her."
Lauryn, who has attention deficit disorder, has been playing tennis since the age of four, after it was recommended by her school psychologist at Sunbury Primary to burn energy and keep her focused.
Dubbed Lauryn Sharapova by an old coach, she said she played better when grunting.
"It feels natural to do my noise. I'm not faking it," Lauryn said. "It makes me play better. When I don't do it, I don't play my best tennis. And now people have told me I can't play if I do it."
Lauryn plays for Mt. Carmel in the Northern Suburbs Junior Tennis Association.
Mt. Carmel vice-president Paul Hackett was tight-lipped yesterday.
"No comment, sorry," Mr Hackett said.
"No one is not allowing her to play. Sorry, I can't say any more than that."
NSJTA president Russell Baldry said he was unaware of the issue.
Baldry said it was disappointing that the club had appeared to take matters into its own hands.
"They just had to ask her to try and be a little quieter, not make a federal case out of it," he said. "This is not in the association's interests and not in the girl's interests. The association will have to discuss it because we certainly have not stopped her from playing.""

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My dog has on his shoes...

The Associated Press reports that "Police dogs in the western city of Duesseldorf will no longer get their feet dirty when on patrol - the entire dog unit will soon be equipped with blue plastic fiber shoes, a police spokesman said Monday.
"All 20 of our police dogs - German and Belgian shepherds - are currently being trained to walk in these shoes," Andre Hartwich said. "I'm not sure they like it, but they'll have to get used to it."
The unusual footwear is not a fashion statement, Hartwich said, but rather a necessity due to the high rate of paw injuries on duty. Especially in the city's historical old town - famous for both its pubs and drunken revelers - the dogs often step into broken beer bottles.
"Even the street-cleaning doesn't manage to remove all the glass pieces from between the streets' cobble stones," Hartwich said, adding that the dogs frequently get injured by little pieces sticking deep in their paws.
The dogs will start wearing the shoes this spring but only during operations that demand special foot protection. The shoes comes in sizes small, medium and large and were ordered in blue to match the officers uniforms, Hartwich said.
"Now we just have to teach the dogs how to tie their shoes," he joked."

Attention: Elephant lovers

The Associated Press reports that "South Africa said Monday that it will start killing elephants to reduce their burgeoning numbers, ending a 13-year ban and possibly setting a precedent for other African nations.
Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said the government was left with no choice but to reintroduce killing elephants "as a last option and under very strict conditions" to reduce environmental degradation and rising conflicts with humans.
There will be no "wholesale slaughter," he told reporters.
The announcement follows months of impassioned debate, with some conservationists arguing for elephant killings to protect the ecosystem, and animal welfare groups outraged at the prospect of slaughtering one of the planet's most intelligent and self-aware creatures.
South Africa has been hugely successful in protecting its elephant population, once on the verge of extinction in parts of the country. But it has become a victim of its own success. The number of elephants, which have no natural predators other than humans, is growing at a rate of more than 5 percent a year and is expected to double by 2020.
The decades of the big white hunter in the 1800s brought Africa's elephants near to extinction. South Africa had just 200 elephants at the beginning of the 20th century.
Now South Africa, Namibia and Botswana all have booming populations as a result of their conservation efforts, while those of east and west African nations are struggling because of large-scale poaching.
South Africa has about 18,000 elephants and southern Africa is home to about 300,000 — half of all the elephants on the continent.
Elephants can turn woodlands to grass and stubs in a matter of years. They need to roam widely to get their daily diet of about 660 pounds of grass, leaves and twigs and up to 52 gallons of water. And they increasingly clash with people.
"Our simple reality is that elephant population density has risen so much in some southern African countries that there is concern about impacts on the landscape, the viability of other species and the livelihoods and safety of people living within elephant ranges," van Schalkwyk said.
South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, which has 165,000 elephants — more than any other country — all used to kill elephants before international outrage forced an end to the scenes of game rangers rounding up and shooting trumpeting, frightened herds.
South Africa remains fearful of upsetting tourists who flock to see the Big Five animals — elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo.
Van Schalkwyk said the debate was marked by "strong emotions."
"There are few other creatures on earth that have the ability of elephants to 'connect' with humans in a very special way," he said.
Michele Pickover, a spokeswoman for Animal Rights Africa, which is threatening to promote tourist boycotts, said killing elephants was "undeniably cruel and morally reprehensible."
She said South Africa does not have too many elephants and that the decision by the government posed a threat to the elephant population in southern Africa.
"South Africa has opened the door to en masse killing of elephants," she said.
But the World Wildlife Fund cautiously welcomed the government's move.
"They are doing the responsible thing," said Rob Little, acting chief executive of WWF South Africa. "It is the right choice to have culling as an option but with strong provisos."
South Africa's new regulations on managing elephants, effective May 1, say killing must be through "quick and humane methods," preferably by a single lethal shot to the brain by a marksman in a helicopter.
Van Schalkwyk did not specify how many elephants could be killed or when, except to say that figures of 2,000 to 10,000 being suggested by animal rights groups were "hugely inflated."
Little said neighboring countries were "watching us for guidance" and that he did expect others to follow South Africa's example.
"We all love elephants, no one wants to kill them but we don't have the luxury for one species to dominate," he said.
Bob Scholes, who headed an assessment of elephant management leading up to the rule change, said it was "quite likely" that other countries would follow South Africa's lead and use killing to control elephant populations, even eventually in East Africa, once the numbers there, which have stabilized, begin to increase.
"I see little alternative to doing so," he said.
‘Worth much more alive than dead’Scholes said elephants brought South Africa $2.42 billion a year from tourism and $148 million in ivory, hunting and sales.
"Elephants are worth much more alive than dead," he said.
Van Schalkwyk also announced that the government is prohibiting the capture of wild elephants for commercial purposes — a move likely to draw fire from a fast-growing industry in elephant-back safaris.
In addition, he said, the government is drawing up regulations to govern treatment of the country's 120 captive elephants. Van Schalkwyk said his department had received "numerous complaints" about cruel training practices including the use of electric prodders.
South Africa said that overall it was trying to manage the needs of elephants with those of people, killing some of the wild animals humanely while eliminating the unnecessary and sometimes cruel treatment of tamed elephants."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Remember exactly what happened on Dec 12, 1989?

The Associated Press reports that "For as long as he can remember, Brad Williams has been able to recall the most trifling dates and details about his life.
For example, he can tell you it was Aug. 18, 1965, when his family stopped at Red Barn Hamburger during a road trip through Michigan. He was 8 years old at the time. And he had a burger, of course.
“It was a Wednesday,” recalled Williams, now 51. “We stayed at a motel that night in Clare, Michigan. It seemed more like a cabin.”
To Williams and his family, his ability to recall events — and especially dates — is a regular source of amusement. But according to one expert, Williams’ skill might rank his memory among the best in the world. Doctors are now studying him, and a woman with similar talents, hoping to achieve a deeper understanding of memory.
Williams, a radio anchor in La Crosse, seems to enjoy having his memory tested. Name a date from the last 40 years and, after a few moments, he can typically tell you what he did that day and what was in the news.
How about Nov. 7, 1991?
“Let’s see,” he mused, gazing into the distance for about five seconds. “That would be around when Magic Johnson announced he had HIV. Yes, a Thursday. There was a big snowstorm here the week before.”
He went on to identify correctly some 20 other events including the birth of the first test-tube baby in 1978, the toxic-gas leak in Bhopal, India, in 1984, and Billie Jean King’s victory over Bobby Riggs in tennis’ “Battle of the Sexes” in 1973.
“I’ve always been this way,” Williams said. “Growing up, I never really had reason to think I wasn’t like everyone else.”
So how does he do it?
“You want the Nobel Prize right now? Tell me that answer and I’ll publish it,” said Dr. James McGaugh, who has studied Williams since last summer. “We don’t know. We do know that he carries this information with him, that it’s detailed, that it’s just there. That’s what we want to know — why is it there?”
Williams’ brother first contacted McGaugh, a research professor at the University of California, Irvine, after the neurobiologist published a case study of a similar person in the journal Neurocase in 2006.
That woman is in her mid-40s and was identified only by the initials A.J. She told McGaugh whenever she hears a date, memories from that date in previous years flood her mind like a running movie. The phenomenon, she laments, is “nonstop, uncontrollable and totally exhausting.”
“Most have called it a gift, but I call it a burden,” she wrote. “I run my entire life through my head every day and it drives me crazy!!!”
McGaugh and his colleagues subjected A.J. to a battery of psychological tests. Given a date at random, she was nearly flawless in recalling the day of the week and what she did that day. The details she provided invariably matched what she had written in diaries decades earlier.
Scientific literature documents people who could memorize a series of 50 to 100 random letters or digits. Another person read a 330-word story twice, then reproduced it nearly verbatim a year later.
But those research subjects remembered meaningless information. What distinguishes Williams and A.J. is their “superior autobiographical memory” — an above-average ability to remember dates and details from their distant past, McGaugh said.
“In subjects we regard as having this ability, they do better than 90 percent on the tests we provide,” McGaugh said.
Memory testsThe tests typically involve reproducing personal information that can be corroborated with old scrapbooks, yearbooks and diaries, sources that McGaugh often tries to obtain from family members without the subjects’ knowledge.
Other tests involve naming a notable public event and asking for its date, or vice versa.
Williams and A.J. both performed better on topics that interested them. Williams excels at pop-culture trivia such as Academy Award winners, but he stumbles on sports.
A lifelong bachelor and self-described Scrabble addict, he finished second when he appeared on “Jeopardy!” in 1990. He says he went 5-for-5 on “1984 movies” but tripped up on categories including “snakes” and “words that begin with ’kh’.”
Because a person’s interest in the information is a key factor in recall ability, some researchers doubt that Williams and A.J. are unique.
“If it’s a truly amazing memory that just sucks things up, it shouldn’t be based on how interesting something was to you,” said Stephen Christman, a neuropsychologist at the University of Toledo in Ohio.
Christman, who wasn’t involved in the research, pointed to baseball fanatics who remember obscure statistics because of their passion for the game. Perhaps, he speculated, A.J. obsesses so much over past events and relives them so frequently in her mind that it’s now effortless for her to recall countless dates and events.
The number of people with comparable memory skills has been hard to pin down. After publishing his research with A.J., McGaugh heard from about 50 people claiming they had the same skill or, like Williams’ brother, knew someone who might.
Of them, McGaugh and his colleagues have identified a third person — a 50-year-old Ohio man — who shows similar promise.
Ever since pointing his elder brother in McGaugh’s direction, Eric Williams, 45, has been recording Brad’s adventures for an upcoming documentary. The movie, to be titled “Unforgettable,” is scheduled to be completed later this year.
“The human brain is the most complicated and important machinery in the known universe,” McGaugh said. “My aim with this research isn’t to cure Alzheimer’s. It’s to decrease the mystery of this marvelous machinery.”"

Was that a man on her car?

The Associated Press reports that in Haverstraw, NY, "[a] man fighting with his girlfriend clung to a car roof and punched her through the window as she drove more than a mile on a busy road, hitting several other cars, police said.
Both were hurt in the brawl Saturday and were arrested, police Sgt. Manfredo Figueroa said.
The man, William Kremer, apparently jumped onto the car and held on as girlfriend Stacey Sperrazza wove along Route 202 with the car's air bag inflated, police said. She eventually stopped the car and hit him with it, police said.
Sperrazza, 37, of Stony Point, was arrested on a felony charge of reckless endangerment. Kremer, 42, of Haverstraw, was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge.
No telephone numbers could be found for the two. Police had no immediate information early Sunday on whether they had lawyers.
He was treated for a foot injury, she for eye and head wounds, police said."

L.A. Tap Water = The Best In The World?

The Associated Press reports that "Their air might bring pollution complaints, but residents of Los Angeles drink the nation's tastiest tap water, according to the judges of an international competition.
More than 120 water sources competed in the 18th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, held Saturday.
A panel of 10 journalists and food critics sampled sparkling, tap and bottled water from 19 states and other countries, including New Zealand, Romania, Macedonia and the Philippines.
The title of best municipal water was shared by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves Los Angeles, and the town of Clearbrook, British Columbia.
Los Angeles won a gold medal in 1998 and has been in the top five in four other competitions since then, according to the competition organizers.
"It means they give special care and attention to their water and how it is processed," said event producer Jill Klein Rone.
The bottled-water trophy went to Tumai Water of Martinsburg, W.Va., which donates profits to AIDS relief and water needs in Africa. Best sparkling-water honors went to Slavus Mineralwasser Medium of Emsdetten, Germany.
Berkeley Springs, in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, is known for its own spring water. George Washington was among visitors in the Colonial era."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

World's Oddest book Title 2008?

AFP reports that "British industry magazine The Bookseller has announced this year's shortlist for the oddest book title of the year, with a typical mix of the quirky and eclectic.
Visitors to the magazine's website can make their choice from six mostly non-fiction titles unearthed by publishers, bookstore workers and librarians from around the world.
The winner will be announced on March 28.
The nominees for The Diagram Prize are:
-- "I Was Tortured By The Pygmy Love Queen (Fem Fist Books)" by Jasper McCutcheon;
-- "How to Write a How to Write Book" by Brian Paddock;
-- "Are Women Human?: And Other International Dialogues" by Catharine A. MacKinnon;
-- "Cheese problems solved" by P.L.H McSweeney;
-- "If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs: A Guide to Understanding Men" by Big Boom;
-- "People who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: From King Canute to Doctor Feelgood" by Dee Gordon.
Horace Bent, The Bookseller's diarist, said on the magazine's website: "I confess: I have been anxious that as publishing becomes ever more corporate, the trade's quirky charms are being squeezed out.
"Lists are pruned, targets are set, authors are culled. But happily my fears have been proved unfounded: oddity lives on."
Last year's winner was "The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification", by Julian Montague.
The Diagram Prize has been running since 1978, when the winner was "Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice"."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's about time...

MSNBC reports that Los Angeles "Sheriff’s deputies arrested two cameramen photographing Britney Spears at a hair salon and two other photographers outside a trendy nightclub in a crackdown that follows a year of frenzied paparazzi swarms around the troubled pop star and other celebrities.
All four men were arrested for misdemeanor violations of obstructing a public walkway and released with citations, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said Wednesday.
Photographers David Tonnessen and Christian Shostoe were arrested around 7:50 p.m. Tuesday in front of West Hollywood’s B2V Hair Salon, where 50 paparazzi tried to get shots of Spears, Whitmore said."
It is about time the authorities stood up to the craziness. What the heck were they waiting for? Someone to die? Oh wait... Someone already did die. But Princess Diana's death was some time ago.

$5 Million Bank Mistake Leads To Charges Against Man

FoxNews reports that a "man [in New York] was charged with withdrawing $2 million from an account after a bank confused him with a man who has the same name.
Benjamin Lovell was arraigned Tuesday on grand larceny charges. The 48-year-old salesman said he tried to tell officials at Commerce Bank in December that he did not have a $5 million account. He says he was told it was his and he could withdraw the money.
Prosecutors said the bank — which advertises itself as America's Most Convenient Bank — confused Lovell with a Benjamin Lovell who works for a property management company.
The lesser-funded Lovell gave away some of the withdrawn money and blew some of it on gifts, but lost much of it on bad investments, prosecutors said.
The district attorney's office did not immediately have information on his lawyer. Calls left with Commerce Bank on Wednesday were not immediately returned."

"Female G spot 'can be detected' "

Our friends at the BBC report that the "mysterious G spot - supposedly a route to female sexual satisfaction - can be located with ultrasound, claim Italian scientists.
Some women say stimulating a certain part of the vagina triggers powerful orgasms, but medicine has not been able to pin down the exact location.
Researchers told New Scientist magazine they found an area of thicker tissue among the women reporting orgasms.
But specialists warned there could be other reasons for this difference.
The existence of the G spot has remained controversial since the 1980s, when the term was coined as a way to explain why some women were able to achieve orgasm through vaginal stimulation, while others were not.
Some specialists claim that the term has led to over-anxiety among women who cannot reach satisfaction this way, and their partners.
The latest research, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, was carried out the Dr Emmanuele Jannini at the University of L'Aquila, and involved just 20 women.
Ultrasound was used to measure the size and shape of the tissue beyond the "front" wall of the vagina, often suggested as the location of the G spot.
In the nine women who reported being able to achieve vaginal orgasm, the tissues between the vagina and the urethra - which carries urine out of the body - were on average thicker than in the 11 women who could not reach orgasm this way.
Dr Jannini said: "For the first time, it is possible to determine by a simple, rapid and inexpensive method if a woman has got a G spot or not."
However, Dr Tim Spector, from St Thomas' Hospital in London, told New Scientist that the thicker tissue might actually be part of the clitoris - another extremely sensitive area.
Another suggestion was that, rather than being the cause of more orgasms, having these frequently might actually lead to better-developed musculature in this area.
Dr Petra Boynton, a sexual psychologist at University College London, said that an entire industry had grown up around the idea of a G spot, and it was unhelpful to label women unable to find theirs as "dysfunctional".
She said: "We're all different. Some women will have certain area within the vagina which will be very sensitive, and some won't - but they won't necessarily be in the area called the G spot.
"If a woman spends all her time worrying about whether she is normal, or has a G spot or not, she will focus on just one area, and ignore everything else.
"It's telling people that there is a single, best way to have sex, which isn't the right thing to do.""

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How Mr. Potato Head became a political activist

"How Mr. Potato Head became a political activist
Two very special things about Mr. Potato Head: 1) he was the first toy to be advertised on television, and 2) he was the first toy that featured real produce. That's right the original toy came as a collection of eyes, ears, noses, a body and accessories that you'd "force" into a real potato. To be fair to Hasbro, Mr. Potato Head's creator, did include a styrofoam "potato" but it wasn't much fun.
In 1964 a molded plastic potato body became part of the toy. But back then, Mr. Potato Head also had friends including Carrots, Cucumbers, Oranges, Peppers and a love interest, Mrs. Potato Head. With Brother Spud and Sister Yam there was an entire Potato Head family, and all of the packaging carried the slogan "Lifelike Fruits Or Vegetables To Change Into Funny, Lovable Friends."
What's most amazing, however, is that Mr. Potato Head's appeal has garnered him many "spokespud" gigs.
In the American Cancer Society's annual "Great American Smokeout" campaign he handed his pipe to then Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and swore off the tobacco, he got up off the couch for the President's Council on Physical Fitness, and he even pitched in with the League of Women Voters for their "Get Out the Vote" initiative.
Of course, he's been involved in plenty of straight marketing campaigns, too: in 1997, he shilled for Burger King's "Try the Fry" introduction of their new French fries.
That said, our favorite thing about the spud is the sort of celebrity pull he has. After all, what other toy can claim they were voiced by Don Rickles?"

Captain Kangaroo saved Play-Doh

"Captain Kangaroo saved Play-Doh
Back before it was Play-Doh, everyone's favorite squishy clay was actually a wallpaper cleaner used to clean soot off of walls. But when people switched from using coal burning furnaces to oil fueled ones in the '40s and '50s, demand for the product evaporated. Kutol, a manufacturing company in Cincinnati, was watching their sales dwindle when the son of the company's founder, Joe McVicker, started looking for ways to turn the business round.
His sister-in-law Kay Zufall suggested using the wallpaper cleaner as a child's craft item, and McVicker was willing to try anything. He formed a new division, Rainbow Crafts, and began selling the re-branded product as Play-Doh. Sales were okay, but then McVicker came up with a way to sell a whole lot more. He contacted Captain Kangaroo (A.K.A. Bob Keeshan) and offered him 2% of sales if the good Captain would feature Play-Doh on his show. He did. Ding Dong School and Romper Room soon followed suit, hawking the crafty compound to kiddies everywhere and Kutol made plenty of Doh (er, Dough) in the process.
While the company has changed hands a few times since (Rainbow Crafts was purchased by Kenner Toys and Kenner was purchased by Hasbro) that's hardly impeded sales. More than two billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold since 1955."

Source: mental_floss magazine

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Inspiration - Doing Flips in a Wheelchair

From ABC News World News Tonight With Charles Gibson, "a teenager who does stunts in his wheelchair has become an inspiration."

Take a look at this story and be inspired. And he is awesome. Aaron Fotheringham is a true role model. ABC continues with getting the emotional stories...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Swiss create underwater car

The Associated Press reports that "OK, so the Swiss have invented a car that runs on land and underwater. But did they REALLY have to make it a convertible?
It’s called the “sQuba,” and conjures up memories of James Bond’s amphibious Lotus Esprit from “The Spy Who Loved Me.” That fictional vehicle traveled on land and, when chased by bad guys in a helicopter, plunged into the water and became an airtight submarine — complete with “torpedoes” and “depth charges.”
But “Q” isn’t responsible for this one.
The concept car — which unlike Bond’s is not armed — was developed by Swiss designer Rinspeed Inc. and is set to make a splash at the Geneva Auto Show next month.
Company CEO Frank Rinderknecht, a self-professed Bond fan, said he has been waiting 30 years to recreate the car he saw Roger Moore use to drive off of a dock.
The sQuba can plow through the water at a depth of 30 feet and has electrical motors to turn the underwater screw.
You’ll have to break out the wetsuit, however.
The car has an open top, meaning that the two passengers are exposed to the elements.
“For safety reasons, we have built the vehicle as an open car so that the occupants can get out quickly in an emergency,” said Rinderknecht, 52.
Passengers will be able to keep breathing underwater through an integrated tank of compressed air similar to what is used in scuba diving.
The sQuba’s top speed on land is about 77 mph, but it slows down to 3 mph on the surface of the water, and 1.8 mph underwater.
Working with engineering specialists, Rinspeed removed the combustion engine from a sports car and replaced it with several electrical motors. Three are located in the rear — er, aft — with one providing propulsion on land and the other two driving the screw for underwater driving.
“We always want to do cars that are outrageous, which nobody has done before. So we thought, ’Let’s make a car dive,”’ said Rinderknecht, whose innovative company has made transparent, flying and voice-activated cars in previous attention-grabbing displays at the Geneva Auto Show.
The company calls the sQuba the first real submersible car. Unlike military amphibious vehicles, which can only drive slowly on a lakebed, the sQuba travels like a submarine — either on the surface or submerged.
The interior is resistant to salt water, allowing the skipper to drive into a lake or the sea...
Rinderknecht said it cost more than $1.5 million to make the sole sQuba in existence, and that it was difficult to make a car watertight and pressure-resistant enough to be maneuverable underwater...
Rinspeed is in discussion with commercial manufacturers about making a limited number of the cars. The price? “It would be cheaper than a Rolls-Royce,” he said. A 2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe has a sticker price of more than $400,000..."

Jesus through the eyes of an Iranian...

ABC News reports that in "the award-winning movie, "The Messiah," Jesus is depicted as not being the son of God, and not crucified...
[The] new movie in Iran depicts the life of Jesus from an Islamic perspective. "The Messiah," which some consider as Iran's answer to Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ," won an award at Rome's Religion Today Film Festival for generating interfaith dialogue..."

Here are portions of an interview with the filmmaker Nader Talebzadeh and ABC reporter Lara Setrakian.

"LS: Why did you feel a movie showing Islam's take on Jesus needed to be made?
NT: I've been witnessing what's been going on in Iran for the past 28 years; I've been living here after I lived a decade in America. Everybody knows Jesus, so why not make a film about something everyone relates to? And made in Iran.
LS: What are the key differences between Jesus through Islam's eyes and Jesus through the traditional Christian perspective?
NT: We are talking about the same beautiful man, the same beautiful prophet, the same divine person sent from heaven. In the Koran, it emphasizes maybe three main points: about the birth, about the fact that he was not the son of God, and then, that he was not crucified. The rest is [the same] Jesus ... the sermons, and the miracles, and the political situation.
LS: So, when it comes to Jesus, the message and the reverence are there.
NT: Yes.
LS: But the virgin birth, the crucifixion...
NT: The virgin birth was the same. The difference in the Koran, God says Jesus was saved. Instead of having him hung and crucified, the person who betrayed Jesus was crucified. This is how the Koran sees it, through the Gospel of Barnabas.
LS: There's plenty of news today about Christians being persecuted, or even killed, today, in Muslim countries. So, where does the Muslim reverence for Christians go off-track?
NT: It doesn't go off-track. The Muslim reverence is very high for Jesus and Mary. This is the misunderstanding in the West — especially in America.
LS: So, then, why in your mind do Muslims, in some places, kill Christians?
NT: Well, those are not Muslims. They're murderers. First and foremost, they're murderers, and they dress as Muslims. Today, we have that problem. There is an evil strain in those people. They're, first, evil, and then they find a religion to address that evil, or to explain it, or as an excuse. But that's a minority that is aggrandized, and it's elaborated — it's constant. So, when you hear the word "Islam," you get a shock. Every time you hear "Islam," you get a little shock. What we lack is communication."

Here is more of the interview.

Here is the related news video.

So what do you think?...

Your pennies are worth what?...

The Associated Press reports that a "penny saved is not necessarily just a penny earned: One man's collection of rare American cents has turned into a $10.7 million auction windfall.
The collection of 301 cents featured some of the rarest and earliest examples of the American penny, including a cent that was minted for two weeks in 1793 but was abandoned because Congress thought Lady Liberty looked frightened.
That coin and a 1794 cent with tiny stars added to prevent counterfeiters each raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the Dallas-based auction house Heritage Auction Galleries, which held the sale in Long Beach on Friday night.
Heritage Auction president Greg Rohan said the auction was the biggest ever for a penny collection, with hundreds of bidders vying for the coins. Presale estimates valued the collection at about $7 million.
"It was a fabulous night," Rohan said. "Every major coin collector of American cents was either there in person, bidding online or on the telephone."
The coins came from the collection of Burbank resident Walter J. Husak, the owner of an aerospace-part manufacturing company. Husak became interested in collecting at age 13, while visiting his grandparents who paid him in old coins for helping with chores.
There were 168 successful bidders, and the auction gallery got 15 percent of the total."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Moron tries to use hacksaw on power cable...

Reuters reports that police "in in central England are hunting for a badly scorched would-be copper power cable thief after finding a hacksaw embedded in an 11,000 volt power cable Saturday night.
The thief, who also left a lit blow torch at the scene, is expected to be badly charred, spiky haired and not exactly the brightest bulb in the socket.
"The sheer stupidity of cutting through power cables should be glaringly obvious to everyone," said Phil Wilson, customer operations manager with local power company Central Networks.
"At the very least putting the hacksaw through the cable would have created an almighty bang and the line would have burned for quite a few seconds, showering them with molten copper... We can only assume they left in a great hurry or they were injured and were dragged away by an accomplice." But searches of local hospitals have so far not found the culprit, a spokeswoman for Derbyshire Police said Tuesday.
"Maybe they had a lucky escape," she said. "We don't have any leads yet."
Nearly 800 customers in the village of Creswell were cut off when the wannabe copper thief sawed into their power supply on Saturday night, but Central Networks got the lights back on within a few hours.
Copper prices have more than doubled in the last four years as China has gobbled up huge quantities of it, sparking a wave of copper thefts across the globe from South Africa and the United States to Italy and Britain.
Thieves targeting power lines and electricity substations have already led to two fatalities in Britain and many serious injuries, while leaving thousands without power."

US Great Seal Secrets Revealed!

The Associated Press reports that "Conspiracy theorists take note: The myths surrounding one of America's oldest and most enduring national symbols are about to be debunked ... if you believe the government, that is.
The keepers of the Great Seal of the United States, the familiar emblem on the back of the $1 bill, want you to know what it is not. It is not a sign that Freemasons run the country, it has nothing to do with the occult, and it does not contain clues to a fabulous hidden treasure.
It is rather the nation's stamp of authority, sovereignty and power, gracing our cash and embossing the most important of documents from its home at the State Department, which has held it since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the first secretary of state.
Not that the Seal's symbols — the all-seeing eye, the unfinished pyramid, the Latin phrases, the bald eagle clutching an olive branch and arrows and the number 13 — aren't powerful.
They are, historians say. Yet their meanings have been misidentified, misunderstood and misrepresented almost since the Continental Congress first commissioned the Seal in 1776.
It would be another six years before the original design was approved and another 128 before it evolved into its current form. Along the way, a movement to decipher the Seal's meaning with ancient Egyptian, mystical and otherwise otherworldly explanations has gained currency.
The Internet age has seen an explosion in such conspiracy theories, many which have now been ingrained in public consciousness through the popular "National Treasure" movie franchise that serves up a combination of Masonic lore and historical myths in blockbuster Hollywood fashion.
Among them:
_That the Seal proves the domination of the United States by a powerful, quasi-religious cult. The Ancient Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is a perennial favorite of conspiracy theorists as some Founding Fathers were Masons and the Seal uses several Masonic symbols.
_That the Seal draws on Satanism or polytheistic ritual to promote a universal new world order under which Earth would be ruled by a single omnipotent government.
_That repeated references to 13 — the number of steps in the unfinished pyramid, stars in the constellation over the eagle's head, arrows in the eagle's claw, stripes on the eagle's shield, letters in the phrase "Annuit Coeptis" — demonstrate the power of 13 American families.
_That there are two seals: one in which the eagle's head faces the arrows for times of war and another in which the eagle's head faces the olive branch for times of peace.
All rubbish, according to historians, who say the Seal's symbolism is far less ominous or revelatory than many believe.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Seal's 66th and current custodian, on Tuesday inaugurated a new exhibition to commemorate its 225th birthday and trace the history and evolution of the symbolism.
"This exhibit honoring the Great Seal affirms our continued belief in the values of our founding," she said. "The Great Seal symbolizes the unity, strength and independence of a new nation, the United States of America."
The Seal will remain at the State Department but the interactive exhibit is designed to travel and curators hope it will dispel the rumors and educate Americans about the real meaning of the symbols.
Among the highlights:
_That known Masons like the first U.S. president, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin had no role in designing the final seal, which uses elements of traditional heraldry, such as the unfinished pyramid to symbolize a work in progress, arrows for war and an olive branch for peace. Masons share some of those symbols, but they have never been exclusively the domain of the order.
_That the phrase "Novus Ordo Seclorum" below the Roman numerals for 1776 at the base of the pyramid translates as "A New Order of the Ages" that began with independence and does not imply the United States will be the lynchpin of a sinister "New World Order."
_That the words "Annuit Coeptis" ("Providence favors") and the eye of providence that hovers over the pyramid refer to unexpected interventions of fate that assisted the colonists in creating a new country.
_That the references to 13 refer to the number of colonies that formed the original United States.
"People are just not aware of the complexity and intent of the symbolism and what our Founding Fathers were trying to do with it," said Priscilla Linn, senior curator at the U.S. Diplomacy Center. "The hidden treasure in the Seal is the courage and presence of mind of the people who created it and created these values for the whole country.""

"Meet the world's smallest bodybuilder"

The Daily Mail reports that at "just 2ft 9in, Indian muscleman Aditya 'Romeo' Dev is the world's smallest bodybuilder.
Pint-sized Romeo is well-known in his hometown of Phagwara, India - for his ability to lift 1.5kg dumbbells - despite his overall 9kg body weight.
Every day, crowds flock to the local gym to the see the mini-muscleman in training.
Unlike many dwarfs, Romeo is well proportioned, with a head circumference of 15in and a chest measurement of 20in.
Romeo said: "I've been training as a bodybuilder for the last two years and by now I think I must be the strongest dwarf in the world.
"I have always been fit but since I started working out, I have become famous for my strength.
"My size has never stopped me. I train with dumbbells and do aerobics and dance. People are always pleased to see me. I have been invited on TV shows and dance on stage."
His trainer Ranjeet Pal spents hours helping his 19-year-old protege build his small muscles to perfection.
"Because of his small size, I don't assign him hard exercises. But Romeo trains more or less the same as anyone else and he's much more determined.
"When he first started, I insisted he did a month of basic exercises like aerobics, push-ups and basic gymnastics to prepare his body.
"After that, I made lightweight dumbbells and taught him basic weight-lifting exercises to shape his biceps and triceps. His size and his weight were taken care of so that he never hurt himself." Determined Romeo is hoping to have an entertainment career after performing in many local TV shows.
He said: "I earn good money through my dance and bodybuilding shows but being rich doesn't interest me.
"My dream is to travel a lot - I want to perform in London with my idol, Jazzy-B."
What an inspiring story...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Poor Dolly...

I don't know anyone who doesn't like Dolly Parton. FoxNews reports that she has had a rough time lately. However, she will be back to regular form soon. I will let FoxNews and Dolly explain what is happening. Dolly has a way with words...
"Dolly Parton is postponing her U.S. tour for 6 to 8 weeks because of back problems created by her breasts, according to a statement posted Monday on her music Web site.
"I know I have been breaking my neck and bending over backwards trying to get my new Backwoods Barbie CD and world tour together, but I didn't mean to hurt myself doing it!," she said in a statement. "But hey, you try wagging these puppies around a while and see if you don't have back problems.""
Now you try not to laugh out loud at her mention of "puppies"...

'Sexercise' yourself into shape

Our friends at the BBC report that the "NHS has some new advice for people struggling to schedule a fitness routine into their daily lives - a workout between the sheets.
According to the NHS Direct website, "sexercise" can lower the risk of heart attacks and helps people live longer.
Endorphins released during orgasm stimulate immune system cells, which also helps target illnesses like cancer, as well as wrinkles, it states.
Sexual health experts said such claims could not be scientifically proven.
"It's good to see the NHS are promoting sexual wellbeing," Dr Melissa Sayer told the Guardian newspaper.
"Yes, there is evidence that sex has benefits for mental wellbeing, but to say there is a link with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer is taking the argument too far."
NHS Direct, however, told the paper the content was "backed by science and clinical evidence" and "isn't just a bit of fun".
The advice, published under the headline "Get more than zeds in bed", is one of several sexual health-related articles to be found on the NHS Direct website.
Sex with a little energy and imagination provides a workout worthy of an athlete, the article says.
"Forget about jogging round the block or struggling with sit-ups.
"Sex uses every muscle group, gets the heart and lungs working hard, and burns about 300 calories an hour."
The advice suggests "regular romps this winter" could lead to a better body and a younger look.
Increased production of endorphins "will make your hair shine and your skin smooth," it adds.
"If you're worried about wrinkles - orgasms even help prevent frown lines from deepening."
The article goes on to say that orgasms release "painkillers" into the bloodstream, which helping keep mild illnesses like colds and aches and pains at bay.
The production of extra oestrogen and testosterone hormones "will keep your bones and muscles healthy, leaving you feeling fabulous inside and out". "

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Cyber-savvy town gets rich on eBay frauds

According to the Sunday Times, "HUNDREDS of people in the poor Romanian town of Dragasani have grown rich by conning eBay online auction customers with deals that seem too good to be true - and often are.
The scammers have even put the new town hall up for sale on eBay, the mayor admitted last week. “I mean, who would want it?” he asked.
Despite growing concern about online frauds, the European Union has poured £150,000 into computer training courses in Dragasani over the past three years in “special recognition” of its IT skills.
“I heard about another offer on eBay selling a MiG fighter jet. There was a photo and a very good price as the customer was only being asked to pay for the fuel to fly it. One guy paid $2,000!” the mayor, Gheorghe Iordache, exclaimed.
“The victims are mainly Americans because they are on the internet most often and they’re naive,” he added. “I’ve heard about local guys who have suddenly bought apartments in Bucharest, Germany, Holland, but haven’t a job. Others have BMWs, Mercedes, Porsches and they don’t work. So where do they get the money from?”
With few local jobs available in this industrial town in Romania’s Valcea wine-growing region, defrauding eBay customers has became a popular career path for many of Dragasani’s young people.
A classic scam is the “second chance auction”, in which fraudsters contact an eBay user who has just missed out on an item, offering them another chance to buy it outside eBay rules. The scammers persuade their victims to purchase the fictitious items using payment methods that do not allow them to recover the money.
Other frauds include hacking into eBay accounts and stealing an identity to make fake offers. Local police say thousands of victims have been defrauded by the scammers. The biggest case involved the sum of £150,000.
Mihai Popescu, 29, is serving a three-year jail sentence for his link to one such scam. He was lured into online fraud when he was unemployed.
Last week his parents protested that he had been made a scapegoat after playing a minor role in the crime, in which his identity card was used to pick up a cash payment from a victim. “He is only 5% guilty. He doesn’t even speak English,” said his father Stefan.
According to Virgil Spiridon, chief of the national cyber-crime unit, there were 752 arrests and 84 convictions last year, many of them in cases where Romanians posed as Britons.
A spokesman for eBay said it had “invested millions” in fighting fraud in Romania."

So if you purchase things online, then please be careful... They say so many Americans are "on the internet most often and they’re naive."

Surfing Kitty...

CNN reports that "Peruvian surfer Domingo Pianezzi takes his four-month-old cat Nicolasa surfing." Here is the video.

Ex-ABC Newsman John McWethy Dies

Growing up, I was always watching ABC World News Tonight With Peter Jennings. John McWethy was one of the reporters that I remember watching. He frequently contributed to Ted Koppel's Nightline. He died Wednesday at age 61 after a skiing accident in Keystone, Colo. He presented the facts without spinning them. I couldn't tell what his personal political leanings were as he reporting on a subject. He always came across as fair and balanced before this became a media catch phrase. God bless you, Mr. McWethy, and thank you for bringing me the news.

Here's the story from ABC News.
Here's the statement from ABC News President David Westin.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Big Balls Airlines

Here is a new sponsor to Conan O'Brien's Late Night show. It's Big Balls Airlines. Clip comes from

Late Night's Men's Room

Dude gets Conan O'Brien to address an issue with the Late Night men's room. Clip comes from

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Voting for...

I must say that I am not impressed with any of the pretenders running across our country trying to impress upon people that he/she should be President. This is why on Primary Day, I will be writing Collin Powell's name on my ballot. I believe our country needs a true leader who commands respect as soon as he/she walks into a room. We need someone who doesn't play dirty politics and doesn't allow his/her temper to overwhelm him/her. I was disappointed that he decided against running for President in the 90's. But our country needs him one more time.

Old Couple In The Dark Prank

I found this funny prank while I was visiting Laughing Ducks.

A benefit for high heels?...

The BBC reports that "wearing higher heels - although perhaps not stilettos - may improve your pelvic floor muscles and in doing so boost your sex life, a study suggests.
An Italian urologist and self-professed lover of the sexy shoe set out to prove that high heels were not as bad for women's health as some suggest.
The shoe has been linked to a range of problems - from corns to schizophrenia.
But in a letter to European Urology, Dr Maria Cerruto said her research showed it was time to stand up for the heel.
She said her study of 66 women under 50 found that those who held their foot at a 15 degree angle to the ground - the equivalent of a two inch heel - had as good posture as those who wore flat shoes, and crucially showed less electrical activity in their pelvic muscles.
This suggested the muscles were at an optimum position, which could well improve their strength and ability to contract.
The pelvic floor muscles are an essential component of the female body. As well as assisting sexual performance and satisfaction, they provide vital support to the pelvic organs, which include the bladder, bowels and uterus.
But they often weaken after pregnancy and childbirth, and as the woman gets older. There are exercises to strengthen them, but Dr Cerruto hopes her findings may eliminate the need for these.
"Women often have difficulty in carrying out the right exercises for the pelvic zone and wearing heels could be the solution," she said.
"Like many women, I like high-heeled shoes," she added. "It's good to know they have potential health benefits."
Gill Brook, a women's health physiotherapist in Bradford, stressed the findings did not suggest that stilettos were a good thing for those keen on improving their pelvic floor function.
"But for women who like a slightly higher heel, these are reassuring findings - although we haven't yet done away with the need for regular exercises to maintain what is such an important part of the female body." "

Monday, February 4, 2008

Congrats Giants!

Congrats to the New York Giants and their fans! That was one heck of a Super Bowl. Thank you to the Giants for showing up and playing out their hearts. Although I thought the Giants' defense deserved the MVP trophy.

And yes, I noticed the Patriots' coach leaving before the game was over. It was ironic to see him leave early when so many accussed him of running up the score on his opponents. His answer has alwys been that his team plays the full 60 minutes. Guess that doesn't include him during last night's Super Bowl. Here is a related story.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Watch Out For The Garden Gnomes....

Dog Vs Balloons

Where's my airline seat?... has an article about how a Delta Airlines passenger found half of her seat taken up by a XL passenger. Here is a portion of the article:
"...When I got to my seat, half of it was missing.
Sitting next to me, in the middle seat, was an extremely large woman. So large that she not only took up her own seat, but half of mine. There was no way for her to put the armrest down. She said she hoped there was room for me.
I discreetly asked one of the flight attendants if I could buy a seat in first class, and was told that first class was full. I asked if the remainder of the plane was full, and they said that there were no empty seats.
A flight attendant suggested that the only way to change my seat was to “find a cute boy or girl” and sit on their lap. Not only did I find this offensive, but also it was distressing.
One of the flight attendants came over and offered the large passenger next to me a seat belt extender. I tried to sit down, but ended up spending half of the flight on this woman’s lap and the other half spilling over into the aisle.
I e-mailed Delta after the flight and asked for a refund. I bought one seat, and I didn’t even have half of one. Delta thanked me for the feedback but refused to do anything. Don’t you think I deserve something?"

Here is the answer to the question. So what would you have done?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Dog-riding Monkey a Rodeo Hit

A Texas rodeo has a huge "hit" on its hands. It's "Whiplash," a monkey that's been trained to stay in the saddle and ride its companion border collie. Here is his own web site. Look at the little guy go...

Watch your water intake...

The Daily Mail reports that an "inquest has heard today how a 35-year-old man literally drank himself to death after consuming too much water.
Shaun McNamara was found on the floor of his bathroom last September after downing a massive quantity of water.
It was initially believed he had suffered a heart attack - but a post-mortem revealed that he had downed so much fluid rapidly that his brain had swollen.
This led to his bizarre death from water intoxication - a highly unusual cause which has very few recorded cases and is normally linked to marathon runners drinking too much water after a race.
In April last year, David Rogers a 22-year-old fitness instructor from Milton Keynes died from water intoxication after completing his first London Marathon.
Hyponatremia is when there is so much water in the body that it dilutes vital minerals such as sodium down to dangerous levels. It can lead to confusion, headaches and a fatal swelling of the brain.
At Shaun McNamara's inquest Dr Ian Reed, who carried out the post-mortem, said: "In 35 years as a pathologist, I have never come across such a case."
He added that excessive consumption of water could be associated with someone suffering psychological problems.
The inquest heard Shaun's devastated mum, Gillian, describe how her son had a long history of depression and anxiety and had been admitted to hospital after taking an overdose in 2005, something she considered "a cry for help".
But police who found Shaun's body at his home in York found no signs of self-harm or any indication that he wanted to commit suicide.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Donald Coverdale said: "This is indeed an unusual case and, I dare say that the consumption of excessive amounts of water may well have gone unnoticed by those around Mr McNamara, certainly less noticed than if he had been consuming large amounts of alcohol.
"It wasn't known to those around him that the quantity of water he was drinking was to prove fatal.
"There is no suggestion on the evidence that Mr McNamara had any intention of taking his own life by ingesting this large amount of water.
"I do believe what has happened here was effectively an accident. As to whether there was any psychological condition that caused him to take so much water, one can only speculate." "